Newcastle Jets won a drama-charged Australian A-League Grand Final 1-0 against Central Coast Mariners at the Sydney Football Stadium today. A 64th-minute strike by Mark Bridge clinched Newcastle their first A-League title.
The decisive moment came midway through the second half when
37-year-old Tony Vidmar, playing in his final game before
retirement as the third-highest capped Socceroo, was dispossessed
by Bridge, who swept into goal range and unleashed a rasping volley
past the diving Vukovic for the only goal.
It was Bridge's fifth goal of the season and the most important one in his career, which is likely to continue at rival A-League club Sydney FC next season.
It was a bitter end for the Mariners, who lost their second A-League Grand Final in the three years of the competition after going down 1-0 to Sydney FC in the inaugural 2005/06 decider.
Newcastle defender Andrew Durante won the Joe Marston Medal as the player of the match, while his young team-mate Song Jin-Hyung impressed with some dazzling ball skills.
Newcastle and Central Coast will play in next year's AFC Champions League.